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Closed during pandemic, popular Duluth restaurant to reopen with no-tipping policy

The cafe and arts space will also have a new executive chef.

The no-tipping movement is coming to downtown Duluth with the newly announced reopening of Zeitgeist Restaurant & Bar, which, like many eateries across the country, was forced to close due to COVID-19 pressures.

The restaurant made the announcement Friday on Facebook, saying it will return on November 19 with not only a new tipping policy, but also a new chef.

Zeitgeist, which bills itself as Duluth's "only nonprofit restaurant," says it will implement "20% universal hospitality charge" that will give workers "an elevated and fair living wage" and a "professionalized pay scale."

The post credits the changes, which also include a revamped menu, to Zeitgeist's new leadership team, General Manager/Executive Chef Nick Weinhandl and Front of House Manager Kyle Salveson.

A previous Facebook post says that Weinhandl is a Brainerd native and a 2014 James Beard award finalist for his work as co-chef at Fargo's Hotel Donaldson.

Zeitgeist temporarily closed last September due to "the financial implications and safety concerns of the pandemic." In an announcement, staff promised to "re-imagine a restaurant that will reopen better and stronger than before," and thanked the community for 10 years of patronage. 

As the Duluth News Tribune reports, the space hosted two pop-up restaurant concepts to fill the gap left by the Zeitgeist cafe. 

The paper also notes that the September 2020 closure was not Zeitgeist's first, as it had closed briefly at the start of the pandemic earlier in the year. 

When it comes back, the restaurant — which is part of a nonprofit arts and community development organization that also operates a performance stage as well as a cinema — will also have different hours.

On its reopening weekend, the kitchen will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. and the bar will remain open until 10 p.m. on Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 20.

After that, Zeitgeist says, the restaurant, located at 222 E Superior St, will be open for dinner Thursday through Saturday "with a few exceptions."

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